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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

IBS: As Irritating As It Sounds

So as my reader base knows, for several years I thought I was Gluten Intolerant/Celiac and last year discovered that was not the case. I have IBS which means any given day I could eat something that causes me all the issues of before and what triggers me now isn’t the same as what could trigger me a few months from now. So as you could guess Irritable Bowel Syndrome is plain irritating.
This week has been particularly irritating. I’ve been trying to figure out the best diet that is also a healthy one. For awhile giving up all fruits and veggies was what worked. It could probably still work but I love fruits and veggies and I cannot give them up completely. After all I used to eat a head of lettuce plain for a snack, I love my fruits and veggies.
So this morning I had to get up at 4am because my IBS said so. I like to sleep in like anyone and found this to be particularly annoying/irritating this morning. So instead of letting my IBS ruin my day I decided to make a list of the food discovery I have made and I found myself really happy with the results. I found more I could eat than I can’t. I’m going to include my list because I’m so excited but I have to tell any IBS sufferers out there that this is my list. IBS is unique to each person. There is no exhaustive list that will work for everyone which is irritating I know. For me, cutting down on fiber (not removing it completely but choosing low fiber foods) has helped me. So here’s my lists.
Foods my body hates:
Spinach
Potatoes
Steak and veggie soup

Foods my body loves:
Applesauce-I typically eat this for breakfast and can make it til lunch before IBS attacks
Lettuce
Romaine Lettuce-perfect for lunch wraps
Peeled carrots
Celery
Tomatoes without skin or seeds
Corn
Beans
Chili
Cheese
Ranch dressing
Ham
Bacon
Chowder
Cucumber without skin or seeds
Pudding
Bread
Tomato soup
Almond milk

This is just the beginning of my lists but I’m really glad that my “foods my body loves” list is longer than my “food my body hates” list.

Life with a head injury

Since my accident last week I have been in almost constant pain. When I sleep my body wakes me up when the pain is too much. Apparently 3 hours is my threshold for pain. Sometimes the pain is so much I’m nauseated and in pain. I squint and scrunch my face hoping the pain will go away and sometimes it works for a second but not for more than that.
My neck still hurts but the pain from my neck is nothing compared to the pain in my head. My car has been totaled and my head is killing me and the guy who hit me has probably already put this accident in his rearview mirror. He’s moving on and my eyes are tearing up from the pain.
There’s nothing more to really say accept that I’m annoyed by how this accident has interfered with my life. I’m glad and thankful that the accident wasn’t worse and that I can still function, even if it is with almost constant, excruciating pain.
I better try to get more sleep, I have to be up soon for work.

Am I strong enough yet?

For those of you that don’t know, I have been passing a stone for the last four days. And throughout the agonizing pain I have had “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson in my head.

Hopefully by now everyone has seen the video made by the children’s cancer ward. I think I watched this video about 20 times when if first came out. I’m in no way comparing my battle of the last few days to this video. I cry every time I watch it but I still think it is an awesome video, and an awesome song.

The lyrics that keep running through my head are:

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/stand a little taller.”

The whole song is about surviving a bad break-up but it has more applications than that.

In my case it is about passing a stone and having the worst pain imaginable. It’s not even a constant pain. For instance, this morning I was feeling so much better but then tonight I am crying because I am in so much pain. Passing a kidney stone is said to be more painful than the hardest labor pains.

I’ve never had a baby, I’ve never even fully passed a stone. But I do know that this is some of the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. What sucks about the kinds of stones that I get is 1) they are huge and 2) I cannot prevent them.

Some stones can be prevented by diet. You control your intake of pops and other harsh sugars and you are all good. My stones are not related to my diet. They are related to the acid build-up in my body. They are related to infections I get that I don’t know I have.

I have a high tolerance for pain. I always have. It could have to do with the issues of my birth or my low weight or all the testing I had to go through when I was a kid. It could have something to do with many many things, I don’t know. I don’t really care. I am thankful for my high tolerance for pain. But it does get in the way, especially when it comes to my production of stones.

Most people are in excruciating pain when they get a bladder infection or a UTI. I never feel them. I know right! I’m so lucky. But the problem with that is that if you don’t feel a UTI it turns into a bladder infection because you never have it checked. And if you don’t feel the bladder infection you are really screwed because it turns into a kidney infection and lucky me I actually feel that crap. That hurts.

Since the infection travels up to my kidneys I also get to produce a kidney stone. Lucky me.

I do drink cranberry juice because it is supposed to kill infections and I haven’t had an infection in a very long time.

But still tonight I am dealing with the pain of passing a stone. Oh joy (sarcasm).

As you can tell my mood is improving by the day. I have watched almost all of the movies I own and most of the ones my parents’ own. I have watched so many movies I cannot tell you which ones I have watched. Today alone I watched: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Friends, Twister, American Pickers, Harry Potter 8, and X-Men: First Class.  That was just today.

I’m bored and to be honest, lonely. I mean I spent all day yesterday on the couch with my mom but I was still lonely. I have left the house once a day for the past 4 days. I’m going stir crazy and I’m not taking it well. Add to the that the pain that has me up most of the night and I’m not sure I even want to hang out with me.

I went to a conference in Pasadena at HROCK when I was there a few months ago. And at this conference one of the main speakers talked about the idea that when you find yourself in a difficult time you should look to God and ask him what you are supposed to be learning from this.

They say that pastors encounter the most difficulty so that they can be present with the people in their midst. I’m sure that this kidney stone is just teaching me to be more compassionate towards others who are suffering. But guess what the other stones, the past surgeries and injuries have all taught me to have a compassionate side. So what the heck is this stone trying to teach me?

Is it’s sole purpose to make me stronger? I’m already pretty strong. I really don’t know what this time around is supposed to teach me. I’m just ready for it to be over. I’m ready to stop alienating the people I love. I’m ready to be smart again and get off these pills that make me act stupid.

I’m ready to be done with this battle. I’m ready to get back to being me. I’m ready. But my body is not agreeing with me.

My body is still in pain. I’m tired of becoming stronger. I’m ready to be whole.

I agree with Kelly Clarkson that what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger but the journey to becoming stronger really sucks.

Am I strong enough yet?

Poison to your system

Some people don’t understand what Gluten does to a system that is gluten intolerant or to a person with celiac disease.

It’s like ingesting poison. You know instantly that what you have taken into your system is no good for you. As soon as it hits my stomach I know I’m in for a rough night.

It’s stomach cramping coupled with chills and headaches (the worst of each of those you can imagine). Imagine the worst stomach flu you have ever had. Now double those symptoms and you might get close to the kinds of pain this is.

It’s been weeks since I’ve felt like this and I can’t believe I lived with this for 6 months. I’ve got shakes and horrible pain and my body woke me up after 4 hrs of sleep to let me know the fun was just beginning.

I’ve been up since 3 and would give anything to go back to sleep. I went to the grocery store to get some fruit and fresh veggies so that later when I can eat I will be able to eat something fresh. I’m actually surprised I was able to be away from a bathroom for the 20 minutes that that took me.

I’ll be staying home today because the pain and so forth is unbearable. There is no position that is comfortable and I just have to ride out the symptoms until the gluten, that is poison to my system, leaves.

Really?!?

I know some of you are sick about reading about my health but since it has kept me in my bed for the better part of this week I’m still going to write about it.

Last week I had a kidney infection and I’m almost done with the horrible giant antibiotics that they gave me. Before I was on the drugs my kidneys were killing me. I was in a lot of pain and sometimes I felt like passing out.

Now the pain is gone and I feel like I’m going to pass out all the time. Walking to the bathroom (which is probably 10 feet from my bed) I always wonder if I’m going to be able to get there without passing out.

I made myself dinner last night because on a gluten free diet there are no quick meals. I was making a new potato recipe and the recipe said it would take 20 minutes for prep and 20 minutes to cook. It took about 30 minutes prep time between all the times I had to lay down and then get myself back up to finish the task. The 20 minutes cook time was also difficult with at least 10 minutes of laying down and 5 minutes doing a move my father has perfected: bend over, hand on knees, and breath. I’ve done this move many times in the last few days. I haven’t left my apartment since Sunday. I haven’t left my bed for more than a few minutes: shower, make lunch, get drinks, make dinner, and trips to the bathroom.

I’m not throwing up but with the nausea I often wonder if that might be better. This is the 10th week! For those of you not on a quarter system this is the last week of class and next week is finals! I have to leave the house tomorrow. I wanted to go to class today but I really don’t think that is possible (luckily the professor I have today has been really understanding). I’m still working on the paper for that class and hoping I can get that done today while I lay down in my bed with my laptop working like the name suggests (with a pillow underneath because that thing gets hot!). I also have a writing center consultation to do today and one in person one tomorrow.

To say I’m stressed would be an understatement. My dreams are about eating pizza (because I can’t) and what will happen in the next month or so.

I’m done with class in the next two weeks which also means I am done with getting loans so in the next few weeks I either have to find a job or move home. This gets even more stressful because everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to do. I really want to stay in town so I am working hard to make that happen. I have been working hard for the last 6 months without really finding anything so I might have to apply to retail places (which makes me cringe). I hate working retail. But maybe I could do it again, if I have to, which I might have to.

So that’s me right now. Totally stressed out. Oh I forgot to mention that my beloved grandma is moving into assisted living this weekend because the dementia has gotten worse. It’s sad but a necessary step. So I’m also grieving which I have learned is just part of this long process of dementia. As each new thing happens there’s more grieving. Which again is not helpful in a 10 week quarter but in a week and a half that stress will be gone. I will no longer have to write papers I will instead have to find a job in a hurry. Time to walk up and down the street and see who is hiring but I can only do that if I start to feel better. Especially since walking to the bathroom is such a task.

What is up with me? Have I not been sick enough this quarter? Have I not been sick enough for the past 6 months? Silly me, I thought that moving to a gluten free diet would rid me of this never ending sickness.

So today, as I work from home again, I am asking God REALLY!?!

I cheated and now I’m paying

So to celebrate Valentine’s Day I had a sandwich on gluten full bread and now I am paying for it. I threw in some cheese for good measure. Because if you’re going to cheat you might as well go all in.

After I ate I started feeling bad right away. So I cleaned out the temptation. I set all my gluten and dairy full items on the table and what my roommate won’t take my friends can have.

In the next few days I am going to research gluten free  diets (because I really think its the gluten and not the dairy). I have found some sites that I like already:

http://glutenfreegirl.com/recipes/

http://theglutenfreecook.com/?p=65#more-65

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/09/bread-and-quick-bread-recipes.html

I’m going to borrow a bread maker and make my own bread because all of the gluten-free sites say store gluten-free bread sucks.

Then I’ll make a list of ingredients and make things from scratch because gluten is in almost everything.

My life is changing but the reason I am willing to make this change is because I noticed a difference.

I haven’t been 100% but my energy has increased. I have been sick less. I have been feeling better and able to do more.

It is because of these changes that I’m willing to change my life.

So gluten free here I come. Here’s hoping this really is what’s wrong!

No milk a few days in

Okay. I miss bread and cheese.

Pasta I didn’t have that much so I don’t really miss it but I love cheese and not having it is harder than I though it would be. I also miss bread. It reminds of America’s Sweethearts when Julia Roberts’ character is talking about dreaming about bread. That’s me I’m dreaming about bread.

I have started to notice things though.

The first few days I was just eating mostly fruit, some peanut butter, and chicken. The only veggies I was eating was the lettuce or the spinach that my salad was on top of. Yesterday I added tomatoes and red pepper. My stomach hated that.

Today I dropped the red pepper (because without the ranch dressing, red pepper sucks!). Stomach is still not so happy. So tomorrow I will drop the tomato.

So what do you do when you have dropped dairy and gluten and what your stomach is unhappy with is veggies? What’s the issue then?

Ideas? Suggestions? I’m all ears!

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